(Photo Credit: Daniel Huizinga)

Photo Credit: Daniel Huizinga

Cistercian BraveArtists: Ben Woods – “The Cliffs of Moher”

November 9, 2020

The cliffs slump to the sea

Heavy-eyed from years chiseled by the breath of frustrated time.

Still chaos underfoot I walk in silence

Bristling grey weeds like barbed wire to tender legs.

Soft mist shrouds the cliffs like a funeral veil

False footholds across the hungry void.

Far below headstrong waves rise; cold Spartan warriors

Throw themselves against the enemy wall to die in defeated roars

Their broken bodies collected again to die again to die again to die again.

Above they seem but toy soldiers

with painted frowns warring unamused God.

The world blinks as my chapped fingers glide

Roughly along the charged grey wire

Fencing oblivious goats chewing longingly at death.


I heard a story once where a man urinated on charged wire and died from electrocution.

I laughed at the idiocy but no more for looking on the cliffs I know


Imagination tantalizes.



I don’t know what death is.

Blackness or brilliance or pain or peace or joy or violence

But imagination tantalizes.

Two friendly fast forgetful steps

Two simple smooth unresisted twitches

Separate everything and nothing

The brown wood and the black flame.

The world spins as the grass consumes my legs and

Stabs and worms like varicose veins.

Captive mind pendulums back and forth

Trapped by a twisted gypsy drunk on sickening fumes.

Bile rises as my insides writhe like twisted tentacles

In a gordian knot of throbbing panic.

Quickly I could jump from the rock and

Greet nothingness with a smile

As my mother screams my name in agony

Because I will know what no living person knows.



I think I know what life is.

Life moves in bright colors and complexities and

All insignificant, gone with two forgetful footfalls.

The soccer ball but a couple sprinting steps away.

Closing in my mind thinks nothing but the spinning white orb

One more step and the cliffs open before me and

I plunge over the edge and fall

Violently embracing the void as I grasp for God.

The ball rolls out of bounds and the players keep playing as the world collapses

And demons curl warmly around my heart

Comforting me.



I don’t know what life is.

Blackness or brilliance or pain or peace or joy or violence or

See the cliff towering over red steaming rotting Death

Another innocent dreaming demon

Gazing wide-eyed up with churning whatever.

Think of the horrible sucking kiss

Dragging him upwards to light and life as he begs to earless Satan

Long twisted claws desperate to scrape

His demon mother laughing his name in joy

A smile etched on her twisted cavernous face.

Two sides of a miserable coin

Alice wails through the looking glass as her

Double faceless tears drip down the shining mirror on the other side

Imagination tantalizes



Sobered I remember something as I walk

Dry eyes gazing softly at the skies:

Imagination tantalizes but reality rarely satisfies.

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